After receiving the S3 Red Dot, I first mounted it on an AR15. The S3 comes with a riser mount just for this. The riser is pretty nice looking by itself. But when mounted with the red dot, it leaves a few oddities. One is that the riser is shorter in length than the integrated rail mount on the S3 (see pictures to get a better idea). Also when looking down the sight, you notice that the riser doesn't blend in with the S3's mounting. This is all cosmetic, as the riser mount works well, and the Red Dot mounts snugly to the top of the riser. One nice thing about both the riser and the Red Dot are that they use a torx screw to tighten them to the rails so that there is nothing sticking out the side, like on some mounts with a nut or thumbscrew. Also included is a honeycomb anti glare filter that screws on the front. I can see this helping if hunting animals that might get spooked by glare off of the sight. A neoprene cover and lens cleaning cloth come standard also.
The S3 Red Dot that I was sent has a 2.5 MOA dot. This size dot works better for more accurate shooting. Styrka also offers a 5 MOA red dot, or a 5 MOA green dot. I like the smaller dot size personally, but a larger dot is also easier to pick up for some people. The dot is adjustable for 6 different brightness levels. To turn on the S3, just push either one of the "+" or "-" buttons, and it will turn on to the last brightness setting. So, of course, to increase or decrease the brightness, just push the appropriate button. One can also hold down the button and it will cycle through the settings until the lowest or brightest setting is reached. To turn the sight off, just hold down both of the buttons for about 3 seconds. If you forget to turn the sight off, don't worry, it will automatically turn off after 1 hour. I would really like this feature, but I envision the sight turning off right before I need to use it. Either while hunting and waiting for game, or while shooting a competition that has different stages. I wouldn't think that setting the auto off at a much higher time, would drastically reduce battery life. Speaking of the battery, it uses a CR2032 and mounts on top of the red dot. The adjustment knobs are covered, and the covers double as an adjustment screw for windage and elevation, both of which are 1 MOA per click.
Now that the somewhat technical stuff is out of the way, it's on to how it performed. After having it mounted to an AR for awhile, I took it off and mounted it on a 9mm submachine gun. I put around 500 full auto rounds on the S3. It stills adjusts fine and has no adverse problems because of it. When looking through the red dot, the glass is really clear. I say this because on some optics, the coatings tend to tint the colors, but this is not the case with the Styrka. The dot shows up crystal clear, but is a little hard to see in bright sunlight. This only seemed to get worse with the honeycomb filter on. This is strictly a brightness issue, not an optical clarity issue. Another thing to note is that the LED housing is noticeable when looking through the optic. It shows up as a flat in the lower right hand field of view. I only mention it because it was a little distracting.
The Styrka Red Dot would probably best be used on something in the "range toy" category due to its auto off function. It does however have some nice features. It holds zero even when getting abused with full auto and has really good clarity. It even comes with a anti-glare filter. However, I feel that it could use a few refinements. Styrka has some really nice products available, all of which have their lifetime warranty and free tune ups and cleaning once a year.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame:
Tube style red dot
Anyone looking for a red dot sight
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
6 brightness adjustments
2.5 MOA Dot size
21mm Objective lens
Integrated turret adjustment caps
Unlimited eye relief
Auto Shut Off
1 MOA adjustments
Lifetime Warranty w/free tune ups
Last setting Brightness return
Weighs 5.8 ounces
LxWxH in inches - 3.27x1.84x2.11
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?
What others are saying?:
Michael C. 5/5 stars @ Optics Planet
Awesome Red Dot
This rivals any of its contemporaries in this price range. At 5.3 ounces, it weighs less than other similar options without losing any functionality. The 2.5 MOA version is ideal for close to long range shooting. The dot is crisp and easy for your eye to catch. The glass is ultra clear and just about not there in your sight picture. The sight comes standard with a low mount to mount to your shotgun or "regular" rifle and it also comes with a riser so you can get the correct mounting height for an AR. A lot of red dots come with one mounting height, with risers or rings necessary but this will have everything you need. When using the riser, you don't need to switch out any parts or mounts. You simply mount your sight to the picatinny top of the riser, then the riser to your rifle. The standout feature for this sight is the brightness control. They're large push buttons and are located on the side of the optic instead of a turn knob or depressed buttons. These will be ideal for winter shooting when wearing gloves and just for general ease of use. If you're looking for an affordable, easy to use, quality red dot with all the bells and whistles you'll need, this is the way to go.
Link to other reviews:
(MSRP versus actual retail)
MSRP = $299.95
Retail = $249.00 @ Styrka
$249.00 @ Optics Planet
I need it now! Availability:
- Comes with honeycomb glare filter
- Includes high mount
- Neoprene cover
- 2.5 MOA dot
- Clear Dot
- Clear glass
- Lifetime warranty and tune ups
- Poor brightness in full sun
- LED housing is noticeable
- 1 hour auto off
- High mount doesn't line up
Score: 6.0 Okay
Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans FOB